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Medical Negligence Claims

Failure To Prevent Suicide Claims

Any suicide is a tragedy but it’s particularly hard for the family and friends left behind when it could have been prevented. If you have lost a loved one due to substandard mental health care, we may be able to help you make a claim and support you through the inquest process.

Healthcare providers have a responsibility to protect life whenever possible. There are a number of failings that can lead to a preventable suicide, including:

  • Incorrect diagnosis of mental health illnesses
  • Failure to identify and react to suicide risk factors, signs of distress or requests for help
  • Failure to make appropriate referrals or supervision arrangements for an at-risk individual
  • Allowing a patient access to dangerous materials, objects or drugs
  • Incorrectly discharging patients from hospital
  • Failure to ensure appropriate treatment or medication
  • Failure to prepare adequate care plans or safeguarding after treatment
  • Failure to communicate with the patient’s family
  • Shortages of beds in inpatient settings

These failings can take place at different times within the treatment process or may prevent treatment from beginning at all. They can happen to voluntary and involuntary mental health patients; people without formal mental health diagnoses; or people receiving community care.

Our expert medical negligence solicitors will investigate how and why your loved one’s suicide was allowed to take place in order to bring a claim against those responsible. We will work to secure an apology for their mistreatment and get you the compensation you deserve to cover any costs you have faced. We can represent you at inquests and campaign to bring about changes to ensure better care in the future.

We have extensive experience with preventable suicide and attempted suicide claims and will treat your case with the utmost sensitivity and discretion throughout. We know that every situation is different, and we will work tirelessly to achieve the specific outcome that you want.


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No Win, No Fee*
Work with Mind - the mental health charity
Expert advice from our Public Law & Human Rights team available

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Failure To Prevent Suicide Claims - More Information
    • What Will Happen When I Make A Claim?
    • After you’ve got in touch we’ll set up a free initial consultation where we’ll talk about your situation. Once we’ve talked with you about what happened, we’ll let you know if we think you can continue with a claim.

      We’ll then explain what will happen if you need to attend a post-mortem and/or inquest, making sure you understand everything that’s going to happen. We can also offer you initial advice about the inquest process

      We’ll always aim to make things as clear and easy as possible for you. We’ll talk you through a variety of funding options available to pay for your case. Many preventable suicide claims are funded with No Win No Fee* agreements and we will ensure that you get the best funding method is for your specific circumstances. Alternative funding options may be available depending on the circumstances, for example if there has been a Human Rights Act breach.

      Our lawyers will then collect evidence to support your claim, including medical records, documents and the opinions of independent mental health experts. Using this, we’ll come to a compensation amount that best supports your needs.

      Many preventable suicide cases we handle are settled out of court. If we can’t reach a settlement which we feel is fair and reasonable, or the mental health professional or organisation involved denies responsibility, we’ll start court proceedings.

      Even if we don’t reach a settlement straight away and we have to start court proceedings, we’re often able to settle your case at a later point before it does reach the court room. If your case does go to court, we’ll be there for you every step of the way ensuring that you have the best possible chances of getting the compensation you deserve.


    • What Can Compensation Pay For?
    • Our lawyers can support you in a number of ways if your loved one died because of negligent mental health treatment. You might not only be suffering emotionally because of the loss, but you may also be facing financial issues.

      We can get you funds to compensate for any suffering that your loved one underwent prior to the death, as well as to pay for expenses following the death such as:

      • Funeral costs
      • Loss of earnings
      • Household expenses
      • Medical expenses
      • Loss of benefits (such as pension rights)
      • Childcare costs
      • Counselling services

      To find out more about how compensation could help you and your family, contact our experts free on 0800 121 6567.

    • What’s a Statutory Bereavement Award?
    • Our medical negligence lawyers might be able to help you get a statutory bereavement award, which is currently a flat rate of £12,980 (paid by your opponent) when a wrongful death has occurred. You can access this amount if you’re the spouse or civil partner of the person who died, or their parent if they were under 18.

      Find out more about statutory bereavement awards.


    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee* Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee* agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case we’ll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you’re best supported by a No Win No Fee* agreement, we’ll explain the process clearly. This involves setting up an insurance policy that will protect you, at no cost to you. You’ll only have to pay anything when your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee* page for more information on how it works.


    • Meet Our Experts
    • As one of the largest and most respected law firms in the country, we have a specialist medical negligence team who have the expertise and experience needed to help you make a successful claim. We’ll be there to answer questions whenever you need us and will always make sure you understand what’s happening at every stage of your claim, or at inquest. With lawyers based across the country, we’ll never be too far away to help.

      We also campaign for improvements in the standards of medical care. We work with charities and other organisations, such as Mind and the AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) to help make a difference.

      We're a full service law firm, so we can help with:

      • Dealing with your loved one’s estate
      • Advice from our in-house client liaison managers who can help with non-legal issues, such as benefit entitlement, or helping you to access specialist counselling services

      View our Medical Negligence team


They were always there to answer my questions and queries when I was at my most vulnerable and they persevered to obtain the best possible result."

Lisa, client

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Represent Me At An Inquest?

If your loved one died in unusual or unclear circumstances, their death will be reported to a coroner who may decide to hold an inquest. By holding an inquest, the facts behind the death can be established.

Sometimes evidence comes to light during the inquest that your loved one may have died as a result of negligent medical treatment. If this is the case, we could help you make a compensation claim and will do everything we can to get you a settlement that could provide security for you and your family.

If you would like our experts to represent you at an inquest, you must contact us as soon as you can so we have time to assemble medical records and other evidence to put us in the strongest position to help.

To find out more about how we can help you at an inquest, contact us on 0800 121 6567.

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Who Can Make A Claim?

If your loved one died because of sub-standard mental health care, we could help you claim compensation to support you at this difficult time. We can help you with making a claim if you’re the dependent of the person who died, which can be one of the following relations:

  • Husband/wife
  • Former spouse (married for at least two years)
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Cohabitee of over two years (living together without being married )

To make a claim you’ll usually have three years from the date of the negligent treatment or surgery, but if the negligence wasn’t discovered until inquest, you’ll have three years from that point to claim. For more information on timings, contact us free on 0800 121 6567.

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Why Should I Chose Irwin Mitchell For My Claim?

We have significant experience with representing families in these tragic circumstances. Our solicitors have successfully concluded many cases and frequently appear in the press and media to discuss failings leading to avoidable suicides.

We will handle your case thoughtfully, compassionately, and discreetly. Our client liaison managers are on hand to support you throughout the claims process, and will keep you informed of the latest progress from start to finish.

Our lawyers understand that that compensation is only part of the story. We will work to get you complete answers about what happened and why. We will pursue an apology for any mistakes that were made and help ensure that changes take place to prevent these failings from happening again.


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Awards & Recognition

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

"The lawyers are heavyweight individuals in a big firm, but they never compromise on client care. They handle cases with striking compassion and insight."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven occasions.
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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We offer support to help you cope with bereavement.

We can help you access bereavement support as well as compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death. After helping many families in tragic circumstances, our lawyers know the impact that counselling can have, so we’ll always help you get the care you need.

Find out more about the support we offer to families at this difficult time.


Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

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To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

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